News

Scarred by terrorism, Israeli brothers-in-law to compete in triathlon

Yeshurun Gavish, who will be participating in the July 18 New York City Triathlon, with two of his children. (Yeshurun Gavish/JTA Photo Service)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Just six months before the end of his Israeli army service, Elad Belachsan suffered a life-changing injury in a Palestinian attack. On a mission in the West Bank city of Nablus with his paratroopers unit, Belachsan, now 27, was near the front of the group… Read more »

Recession fuels rise in Russian aliyah

MOSCOW (JTA) – Years after Russian immigration to Israel dipped and then plateaued, the global economic downturn appears to be sending it higher again. Starting last year, aliyah from the former Soviet Union grew 21 percent over 2008, with 6,818 Russian-speaking immigrants moving to Israel in 2009. In the… Read more »

Stuart Levy: The man trying to make Iran sanctions work

Stuart Levey

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. But the stick only started to hurt its targets — terrorist groups and rogue nations — when he figured out how… Read more »

Moscow exhibit gives a voice to Jewish Red Army soldiers

A Jewish Red Army veteran speaks at the "Writings and Reflections of Jewish Soldiers in the Red Army" exhibit in Mpscow. (Anna Rudnitskaya)

MOSCOW (JTA) — Lev Fein, a Jewish soldier in the Red Army, returned home to Minsk in 1945 to find a letter about his family being wiped out by the Nazis and the dire consequences of the occupation for Belarus Jews. “Father and Uncle Fein died on the third… Read more »

In a race of Jewish candidates, the challenger targets Schakowsky on Israel

Jan Schakowsky

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Joel Pollak has traveled from liberal to conservative in his young lifetime, and now he hopes to take Chicago’s storied Lakefront with him. The Harvard Law School graduate, 32, is running a quixotic campaign against U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who has held the seat since… Read more »

Riding the French countryside in the Jewish-Muslim friendship bus

The Jewish-Muslim friendship bus team talks to a Muslim activist in the central square of Besancon, France, June 10, 2010. (Sue Fishkoff)

BESANCON, France (JTA) — On a hot afternoon in early June, an unusual looking bus is parked in the central square of this historic city in eastern France. Passers-by cast sidelong glances at the brightly colored portraits on its side accompanied by such slogans as “Jews and Muslims say… Read more »

On 100th birthday, Temple Emanu-El volunteer gets a blessing and a laugh

Elsa Leibovitz receives a blessingfrom Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon of Temple Emanu-El on her 100th birthday, June 25. (Joe Steiner)

Elsa Leibovitz celebrated her 100th birthday on June 25 in grand style by receiving a blessing from Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon at Temple Emanu-El’s Friday night service and sponsoring the evening’s Oneg Shabbat. “It’s wonderful to reach this age,” Leibovitz told the AJP by phone on the morning of… Read more »

Gay pride parade used ruse to include anti-Israel group, critics charge

An official with Kulanu, shown here marching in the Toronto Gay Pride Parade in June 2009, says the Jewish LGBT group wants to galvanize a large number of marchers for this year's parade. (Creative Commons/Sweet One)

TORONTO (JTA) – Canadian Jewish organizations are saying they will not back down after an unexpected policy reversal that will allow an anti-Israel group to participate in this year’s Toronto gay pride parade. Organizers of the annual parade, one of the largest events on Canada’s cultural calendar, backtracked this… Read more »

Israelis are key to Central African nations’ development

Cameroonian soliders march in the country’s 50th anniversary parade May 20. Israel provides weapons training to Cameroon as part of the two countries’ expanding bilateral ties.

On a barren, 60-acre tract of land overlooking the Gulf of Guinea, bulldozer operators turn the earth while sweaty construction workers take a lunch break in the shadow of an improvised Zim shipping container. Inside an air-conditioned trailer nearby, Tel Aviv native Zvi Blum sits at his desk under… Read more »

Chofetz Chayim summer ‘Spirit’ study program returns

Congregation Chofetz Chayim’s 2010 Spirit program scholars (L-R): Frankie Snaid of Savannah, Ga.; Ben Tziyon Eisenberg of Rochester, N.Y.; Boruch Wasser of East Bruswick, N.J.; Dani Semel of Queens, N.Y. (Not pictured: Moshe Morgenstern of Queens, N.Y.)

This summer, Tucson’s Jewish men can experience one-on-one or intimate group learning, yeshiva-style, without leaving town. Congregation Chofetz Chayim is offering up to 100 men two weeks of free Torah study through its Spirit program. Spirit participants will study with students from Rabbi Israel Becker’s alma mater, The Rabbinical… Read more »

With flotillas, vigils and marches, Jews press for Shalit’s release

Gilad Shalit supporters call for his immediate release on the “True Freedom Flotilla,” a New York event held June 24 that was organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. (Michael Priest/JTA Photo Service)

Some 100 to 200 passengers in all, they came as members of a self-described True Freedom Flotilla intent on promoting a Middle East-related humanitarian mission. Instead of breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza, however, as was the goal of the flotilla of ships that was intercepted May 31 by… Read more »

Borders, boycotts heat up Jewish press conference in AZ

Carol Karsch

From blogs to social media to e-blasts, modern journalism is about more than just getting the story. Jewish newspaper editors and publishers from around the United States gathered to discuss those topics and our niche’s future direction at the American Jewish Press Association conference at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort… Read more »

Israeli doctors set aside emotions in treating flotilla passengers

WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week) — The call came early on a recent morning: A helicopter carrying those wounded during a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla would soon arrive at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. But as doctors began unloading the injured, they quickly realized it wasn’t Israeli… Read more »

In Venice, a Jewish disconnect between locals and visitors

Chabad yeshiva students gather near the Chabad House on the main square of the Venice Ghetto. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)

VENICE, Italy (JTA) — It was a Friday afternoon in the heart of the historic Venice Ghetto, and I was chatting with the city’s chief rabbi, Elia Richetti, when his cellphone beeped. “It’s a text message from Gam-Gam Goodies, the Chabad-run pastry shop around the corner,” said the bespectacled… Read more »

Bork turns Kagan process into fight over Israeli justice

Aharon Barak, formerly Israel's top justice, recently became an issue in Elana Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation process. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

NEW YORK (JTA) — It was an unexpected headline in an otherwise relatively mundane U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process: Bork tries to Bork Barak’s Elena Kagan with Barak card. Like a ghost from confirmations past, failed Reagan nominee Robert Bork grabbed headlines last week when he spoke out against… Read more »

New Zealand Jews plan to fight for shechitah

Chickens being kosher slaughtered on New Zealand's South Island in 2009. A new law banning shechitah is being challenged by the country's Jews.

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Barring a last-minute policy reversal, Jewish leaders in New Zealand appear certain to launch legal action against the government over its controversial new law banning kosher slaughter. Six Jewish leaders were granted a 30-minute meeting a week ago with Prime Minister John Key, the son… Read more »

Books that made a difference – Eileen Warshaw

To submit  your “Books that made a difference” entry,  mouse over “Contact” and  select “Books that made a difference” from the drop-down menu.. Submissions will be posted online and selected entries will appear in the AJP Rosh Hashanah issue on Sept. 3. The book that changed my life: “This… Read more »

Dog therapy contributes to local senior’s post-op recovery

Irving Silverman with Jagger

If “Jagger” evokes an image of the frenzied gyrations of the Rolling Stones lead singer, the Tucson dog bearing his name had an opposite, calming effect on 90-year-old Irving Silverman, who participated in dog therapy with Jagger at Tucson’s St. Joseph’s Hospital. Following surgery for a benign brain tumor… Read more »